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Consumer trends for 2012.
The site trendwatching.com has put together their list of crucial consumer trends for 2012. These are the 12 key things in the consumer world that they believe we should be keeping on our radar. Whilst some trends are probably more relevant to some regions and industries than others, there are a few that we think are definitely worth planting firmly in your consciousness this year.
You can check out the full listing here – 12 crucial consumer trends for 2012 – but here are the trends that I think you should be keeping in mind over the next 12 months:
Everyone loves a bit of DIY. How many of you have secretly harboured ideas of becoming a weekend warrior, prowling around hardware warehouses for all the latest tools and materials to build that elaborate back deck that you saw on Better Homes and Gardens the night before?
In the online realm, the do-it-yourself trend is only going to continue to get bigger and better in 2012. And where it will be most evident is in the health sector. With technology the driving force behind the groundswell of innovation, we’ll see our endless desire to be in control fuel this technology – from prevention through to management. Estimates by MobiHealthNews suggests that the number of health apps available on the Apple App store will just over double to 13,000 by the middle of this year. A lucrative vehicle to climb aboard and a bit of food for thought for those in the health and fitness industry.
Deal hunting, the global phenomenon created by numerous brands and group-buying sites that has almost become a sport, is now an integral part of our lives. I bet you have at least one site that you have purchased off, or at the very least, received emails from. Dealer-chic is a term you just might start hearing more of this year. We all love a good deal, and when we get one we like to wear it like a badge of honour. It’s now not only about saving money, it’s about the thrill of the chase and our perceived smartness that leads to a bit of a status boost on a personal level. But how is dealer-chic set to grow and evolve in 2012?
Expect to see consumers with less money to spend wanting to experience more from online deals – it may not just be about the product itself, but the experience that goes with the purchase. New technologies that are more enticing and exciting will be the driver of consumers to online sites – it’s not just about the destination anymore but also the journey to get there. And with ever increasing access to not just deals but reviews too, consumer confidence in attaining the best products and service will continue to strengthen. What does this mean for your brand? Well it’s not just about the ‘what’ of online deals, but the ‘how’.
Put simply, it’s about taking your brand to a more human level. Consumers are becoming ever more savvy and far less tolerant of companies that don’t conduct themselves in a decent and conscientious manner. Transparency and honesty is the key for 2012. This means letting people see the good stuff as well as the bad – going against everything you learned in Public Relations 101. Exxon Valdez anyone?
Aligning yourself with consumer culture is as important as being at the top of your game technology-wise. You’ll see people starting to embrace companies that are honest and forthright about their flaws, show a bit of personality and start to bring a little humanity back into the world of consumers. Don't be afraid of scoial media and letting people have a voice, instead celebrate it and get it featured on your site to encourage your brand advocates!
With innovations to the devices that we use to access online content, so many trends will be directly influenced by this medium throughout the coming year. Screens look set to become cheaper, more mobile and always on. Add more interactivity, intuitiveness and even greater access, and for consumers it will be more about the screen itself rather than the device – what they can access and how. Life will be lived through the screen even more so, so expect to see consumer culture take on a whole new level.
If you aren’t geared for mobile access, then maybe it’s time to think about investing in your mobile online presence this year? Take a look at our blog from November on the mobile first approach.
It’s about instant gratification – of the visual information kind.
Think Apps, Augmented Reality and QR codes. People want to seek out information about things they come across instantly. The rise and rise of the smartphone will be the driver here – the device that is always on you, and the portal that can deliver information instantly at the touch, or scan, of a screen. This type of technology can be utilised in so many interesting and practical ways for so many things, it’s up to you – the scope is enormous, and looks set to explode over the next 12 months. Have a look at our app review on augmenting reality from November or how to utilise the rise of the smartphone for your business from back in July last year.
The Designer Type